'''Jane Austen''' (; 16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) was an English novelist
whose works of Romance novel|romantic fiction
, set among the landed gentry
, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature
. Her Literary realism|realism
, biting irony
and social commentary as well as her acclaimed plots have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics.
[Southam, "Criticism, 1870–1940", ''The Jane Austen Companion'', 102.]
Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry.
[Lascelles, 2; for detail on "lower fringes", see Collins, ix–x.]
She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading....